2011-10-22 - Patience ~ Saul
Today we will look at someone in the Old Testament who failed to practice patience. After the Hebrews had demanded a king, God instructed the prophet Samuel to anoint Saul as their king. Samuel gave Saul specific instructions on what Saul was to do saying, "Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings, but you must wait seven days, until I come to you and tell you what your are to do." (1 Samuel 10:8, NIV)
During the seven days of waiting, Saul was busy. After gathering three thousand fighting men, Saul and his son Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba. The Philistines assembled a huge fighting force and encamped in front of the Hebrew army. We are told that "all the troops with Saul were quaking." 1 Samuel 13:7) As instructed, Saul waited for the prophet Samuel to come to him at Gilgal. Meanwhile, the troops of Israel began to scatter. Saul lost his patience, and he offered up the burnt offering himself. Just after Saul presented the offering, the prophet Samuel arrived and asked Saul what he had done.
After Saul explained his actions, Samuel said, "You have acted foolishly. You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you." (1 Samuel 13:13) Samuel told Saul that because of his lack of patience, that his kingdom would not endure. Saul's lack of patience demonstrated a lack of faith.
What can we learn from Saul? We should listen to God's instructions. We should patiently await God's timing. We shouldn't rush God.